At Sky, we know a more diverse workforce will help us create a better business. Having a broader set of perspectives around the table when making decisions gives us access to a wider range of ideas and helps us innovate further. Today a third of our top 500 senior management are women. This is pretty good, but we want to do more. Our aim is to achieve a better gender balance and over time reach a 50/50 split.

To help achieve this we have launched our Women in Leadership programme. This is headed by Group Chief Executive, Jeremy Darroch, and which Deborah Baker, Group Director for People, and I oversee to make sure we deliver on our goals. Along with senior colleagues across the business we will be focusing on making sure that our existing female talent achieve their full potential at Sky, as well as attracting more women into the business.

The programme will be made up of a number of different plans which have been developed by drawing on the experience and expertise of women already in senior positions. We have looked at what helped them achieve alongside what could have made things easier as they progressed through the company. This insight has helped us implement the following:

  • Sponsorship & Development programme – Senior executives have started working directly with high potential talent to help them build skills they need and support them in taking on management roles in the company.
  • More flexible working –We are empowering our people to take more control over where and when they work, and we’re supporting parents through our family care scheme, Parents@Sky. This provides workshops that help parents making the transition to working parenthood.
  • Attracting the best talent – We are committed to balanced shortlists for vacancies within our top 500 roles. We’re also changing the way we write our job adverts and job descriptions to encourage more women to apply. This is alongside rolling out unconscious bias training across the business to remove any unintended barriers to women progressing.
  • Returners programme – We are looking at how we help women previously in senior roles in our industry but who have been out of the work place for an extended period of time return to work. This is a pool of talent that’s vital we ensure doesn’t go to waste.

We also realise that to achieve long term success our pipeline is crucial, particularly in technology. As a growing business, we need more and more people with the right technical skills to build the products and services that we will be rolling out to our customers in the future. In a competitive market for skilled people, it is important we build the deepest pool of talent. So, for example, we have started holding ‘Women in Technology’ events at Sky sites, in Leeds and Osterley to encourage women to choose a career in this industry.

If you’d like to find out more about our plans, Bella Vuillermoz, Director of Women in Leadership, will be talking about our approach at ‘Diversity:The Killer App’, an event Sky is co-hosting with The Crowd - a platform for the business community to share ideas and innovation - on the 7th September. For more information visit Diversity: the killer app? | The Crowd